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2007.10.25 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

International Human Rights Activist Will Speak at UNO Nov. 14

Omaha - Natan Sharansky, an internationally renowned human rights activist, political leader and author, is the guest lecturer for the 2007 Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Lecture on Human Rights at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

Sharansky will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14 in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom on the UNO campus. His presentation is free and open to the public.

During the Cold War, Sharansky became active in the human rights movement led by Andrei Sakharov, as well as one of the most prominent Jewish dissidents in the Soviet Union.

He was a founding member and spokesman of the Helsinki Monitoring Group, which reported on Soviet compliance with international agreements. His fight for freedom during nine years of imprisonment by the Soviet police state was a milestone in the global struggle for human rights. It was in Russia that Shirley Goldstein became acquainted with Sharansky. She was very influential in getting his case (and the case of many other dissidents) known to the free world. Sharansky was released Feb. 11, 1986, emigrated to Israel and arrived in Jerusalem on that very day.

Since his arrival to Israel he became active in the integration of Soviet Jews and formed the Zionist Forum, an organization dedicated to helping new Israelis and education and educating the public about absorption issues. In 1994, he co-founded Peace Watch – an independent non-partisan group committed to monitoring the compliance to agreements signed by Israel and the PLO.

From 1996 to 2005, Sharansky served as minister, as well as deputy prime minister, in all of the successive governments. In November 2006 Sharansky resigned from the Israeli Knesset and assumed the position of chairman of the newly established Institute for Strategic Studies of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

Sharansky and his wife reside in Jerusalem with their two daughters.

For more information on the Nov. 14 event, contact Rory Conces at (402) 554-2947 or Kathryn Cox Schwartz at (402) 554-2628.

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